He was a cheerful sort of bloke and brought with him his two daughters, aged about seven and nine.
‘We suddenly need another bed, because their big brother has decided to come home,’ said the cheerful man.
‘Oh, that’s nice,’ I said and wondered how on earth these two little girls came by a ‘big brother’ who obviously usually lived away from home.
After a brief consultation with the father and the giggling girls as to the suitability of the bed, the sale was completed.
As the buyer carried his purchase out the door, he started chatting, then stopped and said that he’d better be quick as ‘I’ve left another one asleep in the car.’
The two little girls skipped beside their dad as he lugged the bed into the back of his ute, pleased to have a bed for the ‘big brother’.
I spied another little girl curled up in her car seat, asleep.
As they drove off, to my surprise, I had a moment of being close to tears; tears of envy.
Oh, how I wished that in my younger days I had been less focussed on the ‘right’ thing to do and, what I thought was, the ‘right’ and sensible way to go about my life. I wished I had not held such regimented views. Perhaps then I could have produced a family of giggling daughters and ‘big brothers’ and little ones asleep in the car. And happily, bought a second-hand bed on Gumtree. Even as an old woman (for that’s what I am now) the emptiness I felt that day was almost overwhelming.